Sunday, November 1, 2009


Internecine warfare among Republicans has ended in the New York special election for Congress, that I described here. Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava has suspended her candidacy, after heavy support has emerged for the Conservative Party's candidate, Douglas Hoffman.

That should allow Newt Gingrich to save face. He has been the most prominent Scozzafava supporter among potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates. Many on the right have seen Gingrich as being on the wrong side of history in this case, but he won't need to go all the way down in flames with her doomed candidacy.

One should not count one's chickens 48 hours before election day, but it now seems likely that Hoffman will win the 23rd district House seat.

And that will be a victory for those who see the maintenance of a clear right-wing agenda as being the GOP's route back to power in upcoming election years. John Hinderaker certainly sees it that way, on the Power Line blog.

UPDATE: The latest twist is that Scozzafava has endorsed Democrat Bill Owens. The New York Times says that this has "intensified the intra-party fighting that has characterized the bitter contest". I disagree. Yes, Republicans are now to an even greater degree criticizing Scozzafava, who is still nominally Republican. But there is no longer a split among Republicans (other than Dede) regarding Hoffman (and, in that sense, the "civil war" is over). There are hints in the Times report that Scozzafava might switch parties.

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